Friday, 2 June 2017

Sea stars filmed hunting squid and squabbling over eating it

30 May 2017

By Chelsea Whyte

It’s like going back in time. NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer has completed more than two weeks of ocean exploration beginning near Pago Pago, the capital of American Samoa, and ending near Honolulu in Hawaii. Some of the animal behaviour it recorded has previously been documented only in fossils hundreds of millions of years old.

“For all of the places we went, it was the first time we were getting to have eyes down in the deep sea,” says Scott France, a deep-sea biologist at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette who was on the ship.

Those eyes come in the form of remote submersibles that light up the sea floor and transmit live video to the team and the public around the world.

“We saw brittle stars capturing a squid from the water column while it was swimming. I didn’t know that was possible. And then there was a tussle among the brittle stars to see who got to have the squid,” says France.
Living fossils

The team also saw snails attached to crinoids, sometimes called sea lillies for their graceful branches.

“We saw this amazing footage of the snail that seemed to be eating a crinoid. No one had seen this before,” says Del Bohnenstiehl at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, a geologist on the ship. “A scientist from the Smithsonian said he had seen it in the fossil record, but never live.”

Continued and video

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails